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Full text of "Byzantine Churches In Constantinople"

xv       THE CHURCH OF S. SAVIOUR PANTOKRATOR      221
Emperor Manuel Comnenus (1141-1180) in the act of presenting the model of the church to Christ. If that was the case the church was completed by that emperor. As will immediately appear, Manuel certainly enriched the church with relics.
The history of the Pantokrator may be conveniently divided into three periods : the period of the Comneni; the period of the Latin Empire ; and the period of the Palaeologu
During the first the following incidents occurred: Here, as was most fitting3 the founders of the church and monastery were laid to rest, the Empress Irene in 1126* the Emperor John Comnenus2 seventeen years later. Here their elder son Isaac was confined, until the succession to the throne had been settled in favour of his younger brother Manuel That change in the natural order of things had been decided upon by John Comnenus while he lay dying in Cilicia from the effects of a wound inflicted by the fall of a poisoned arrow out of his own quiver, when boar-hunting in the forests of the Taurus Mountains, and was explained as due to Manuel's special fitness to assume the care of the Empire, and not merely to the fact that he was a father's favourite son. But when the appointment was made Manuel was with his father in Cilicia, while Isaac was in Constantinople, in a position to mount the throne as soon as the tidings of John's death reached the capital.
The prospect that Manuel would wear the crown seemed therefore very remote. But Axuch, an intimate friend and counsellor of the dying emperor, started for Constantinople the moment Manuel was nominated, and travelled so fast, that he reached the city before the news of the emperor's death and of Manuel's nomination was known there. Then, wasting no time, Axuch made sure of the person of Isaac, removed him from the palace, and put him in charge of the monks of the Pantokrator, who had every reason to
1  Cinnamus, p. 14 ; Guntherus Parisiensis in Riant's Exuviae sacrae, p. 105. The sarcophagus that forms part of a Turkish fountain to the west of the church is usually, but without any proof, considered to be the tomb of Irene.    A long flight of steps near it leads to the cistern below the church.
2  Cinnamus, p, 31.